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May 04, 2009

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I love it when someone nails Eric Fry's personality perfectly ;)

Seriously, I just read Lyle Fass's account of the weekend. Among his themes on it all is the price of L.I. wines, which he generally considers out of line, not so much with the wines (although there is that) as much as with the competition.

I've read this before, heard it before, and even said it before. It makes me wonder:

1. Do the wine people on the island hear it as often?

2. Do they answer the charge?

3. Is there an answer or solution?

Lyle hits an issue squarely on the head: that the wineries happen to nicely be placed within the moneyed class, the implication being, that they cater to the source of the dollars.

Whether true or not, is that the image that L.I. producers want?

If not, then are L.I. producers aware it is the one that comes to the fore quite often, and do they care about dealing with it or not?

Is someone in the L.I. wine business willing and able to address these questions for me?

Thomas: I've been working on a "pricing" post for a while now (perhaps it's time that I sit down and FINISH it), but there are two things that I think TasteCampers need to remember from their weekend LI wine experience:

1. They didn't taste anything blind.
2. The wineries pulled out all the stops, pouring their best (and most expensive) wines.

Now, that's not to say that the thought that LI wine is overpriced doesn't have some merit, because some of it IS overpriced.

FYI, I'm pulling together a link of TasteCamp-related posts today and will continue to do so for a few weeks until everyone is done :)

Thomas,
Our wines are priced between $14-$42.Currently we make 1500 cases at $14 and 225 at $42. Another 1000 cases are priced between $15 and $17. 750 cases are priced between $20 and $40.
The marketplace determines the price and QPR of our wines. We listen carefully to our customers. So far, so good...the bills are getting paid.
Cheers,
David Page
Shinn Estate Vineyards

David,

I'm not questioning any single winery's policies. I'm pointing out the sweeping statements of critics, etc. and wondering how or what LI wineries do or say to address these seeming concerns.

It's discouraging to me to read what starts out as a good report on the wines and then deteriorates into a slap at the pricing and marketing.

If I were producing wine, I'd be concerned about such information as a continuing drum beat.

Being in the Finger Lakes, I'm accustomed to the German Riesling drinkers who seem always to end their reluctant praise of Finger Lakes Rieslings with a negative note along the lines of 'never reaching greatness,' etc.

Those kinds of slaps prove to have staying power. Yes, I know that the wine is supposed to speak for itself, but if that were true, we probably wouldn't have the number of critics that stalk the earth and the need for marketing.

Thomas,
Yes, you are right - criticism can effect the sustainability of a business. So we need to work harder, longer, and with more passion.
Cheers,
David Page
Shinn Estate Vineyards

Thomas - sounds like comments from typical Germans - (I can say that because I am one ;-)) They generally like their own red wines much better than anything from Burgundy or Bordeaux. Don't take them seriously. lol

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